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OTG is Hiring

This is an exciting opportunity to play a visible role in the policy debate on Washington’s most high-profile issues.  From whistleblower protection to preserving and strengthening the Freedom of Information Act, to pushing back on excessive government secrecy, advocacy in support of government transparency is a critical and rewarding political endeavor.   We seek a creative and self-directed individual to join our small, dedicated team.'s Upgrades Falter - April 14, 2015 Newsletter

– Brief Updates on Coalition Partners & Others (more)
–'s Upgrades Falter (more)

– Speak Up About Open Government(more)

Sunshine Week’s Transparency Legislation; CISA Threats Move Forward

This Sunshine Week, members of Congress stepped up to introduce legislation to increase openness and accountability in all branches of the federal government. Senators Dick Durbin and Chuck Grassley introduced legislation to require the Supreme Court’s open proceedings to be televised. Similar legislation passed the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2012 and 2010. Rep. Gerard Connolly introduced identical legislation (HR 94) in February.

Pushing for Results Using the Open Government Partnership

Last week, the World Justice Project published the Open Government Index, an examination and ranking of governments’ openness. Notably, the index used public surveys to and “in-country expert questionnaires” to score countries. It’s an interesting approach. After all, the theoretical strength of the Freedom of Information Act matters little if the public does not find it to be an effective, useful tool. On the Open Government Partnership blog, WJP’s Alejandro Ponce uses the Index data to illustrate that “OGP participation indeed linked to more transparent, participatory, and accountable government in practice.” and Allies Press for Meaningful Surveillance Reform

Earlier today, joined with a large coalition of civil society groups and trade associations, along with tech companies, in sending a letter to Congress that underscores the essential elements of any surveillance reform legislation. The letter, signed by over forty groups, emphasizes that transparency is an essential part of any meaningful surveillance reform bill--and that we oppose reauthorization of section 215 of the PATRIOT Act without real reform:

Join With Us to Turn Rhetoric into Results with a Civil Society Model National Action Plan for Open Government

We and our colleagues have learned that the government's National Action Plan for open government is the place to turn openness rhetoric into specific commitments from government that lead to measurable results. We invite you to join us in furthering that goal.

Twelve Open Government Groups Call For Archivist and State Department to Review Clinton Email Server and Ensure Preservation of Federal Records

Today and eleven other pro-transparency groups wrote to the Secretary of State and the Archivist of the United States, requesting that they independently verify the preservation of federal records among the emails in electronic form. The groups wrote, “the task of determining which emails constitute federal records should not be left solely to Mrs. Clinton’s personal aides.

FOIA Under the Microscope: Center for Effective Government, National Security Archive, and Cause of Action Release Reports

Sunshine Week is a perfect time to reflect on the current state of the Freedom of Information Act. Three coalition partners issued reports that examine FOIA’s implementation.

Sunshine Week: The Administration Should Take These 4 Steps

Sunshine Week is often commemorated with reports, events, and articles from the open government community and government alike. This year, 23 groups call on the Obama Administration to go further and take 4 concrete steps to improve government openness and accountability.

Groups to SSCI: CISA Undermines Transparency

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's (SSCI) draft cybersecurity legislation increases surveillance and undermines transparency, according 11 open government and civil liberties groups. The groups joined in a letter to SSCI and urged the committee to reject the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) in its entirety. The draft legislation is overbroad and duplicative, undermines whistleblower protections and adds an unnecessary exemption to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Read the letter in full here.

The Classified Section

Check out our new blog, The Classified Section, for analysis of national security secrecy.

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